Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Statism no way to deal with people

Statism no way to deal with people

(My Clovis News Journal column for October 31, 2014)

Walking down a lonely trail, with no one else around, do your politics matter? Even to yourself?

When shipwrecked on a deserted island, or sitting alone in your house, it doesn't matter how you believe you should relate to other people. Politics is hypothetical in isolation. Once you add one other person- or an entire society of individuals- to the mix, how you interact with them becomes critically important and displays your character in vivid detail for all to see.

There are healthy ways to deal with other people and there are unhealthy ways. Trying to find the pragmatic way to control others and their property is the unhealthy way. The belief that governing others is a legitimate way to relate to people is called statism, and The State is how the unhealthy method manifests itself on a large scale. Crime- real crime, such as theft and aggression- is nothing but statism on an individual scale; stripped bare of the veil of legitimacy a government may appear to give it.

Respecting the rights of everyone to live as they see fit, as long as they aren't violating the person or property of any other individual- while maintaining your absolute human right to defend your life, liberty, and property against all violators- is the only healthy way to deal with other people. It's the opposite of statism: libertarianism.

I can't begin to tell you how many times I have seen the argument that liberty only works in desert island scenarios, but as soon as you add more people you must find a way to control each other "for the good of your society"; a euphemism for finding an excuse to violate each other in some way, and usually appoint someone to do it on your behalf in order to maintain the illusion that you are still civilized. This is exactly backwards.

Like any principle lubricating the gears between yourself and others, libertarianism only matters when you are around another person. Unfortunately, it seems to require more thought and effort than simply passing arbitrary and harmful laws, and letting someone else- paid by taxation taken from you and your victims- enforce those laws against anyone who may annoy you.

Alone, you could be a homicidal dictator, and no one would be harmed. When around other people you had better drop that childishness and start respecting everyone's rights if you want to live an ethical life.

It's unfortunate that statism tends to shield violators from their victims, but this still doesn't make the violators right, nor does it make their victims wrong when one defends himself from the violations.


Wilson vs Brown, or cops vs everyone else?

The thing that bothers me most about the thuggish enforcer Darren Wilson vs freelance thug Michael Brown deadly encounter is that I don't for one second believe that if you or I (or any non-enforcer) had been in Wilson's place we would have been treated the same and given the same deference and courtesy.

We would have probably been arrested (even if not "officially") and put through suspected-criminal treatment even if we ultimately didn't end up being charged with any sort of crime. We wouldn't have been allowed to remain free, but would have been subjected to tests and forced to immediately explain our actions without the benefit of a political gang like that which was allowed to to insulate and protect Wilson from scrutiny until he had time to come up with a story.

I am in support of self defense even if you are a cop. And, maybe this really was a case of self defense. But enforcers are not entitled to special treatment. I want everyone who claims self defense to be treated the same by the "authorities" as Wilson was. If that means they all "get away with it", then too bad.

The double standard illustrated by this case (and every case of a shooting by enforcer) is what really infuriates me.


American and US laws and the Ten Commandments

Are "our laws" based on the Ten Commandments? (I say "our laws", in quotes, because that's a silly way to phrase it. "Laws" belong to that mental illness called "The State", not to you or me.)

I see people claiming all the time that the biblical Ten Commandments form the foundation of "American Law". I sure hope not!

Actually, the first four commandments are strictly religious in nature and have no business being imposed by "law". In fact, the First Amendment forbids it (as does decency). That, of course, didn't stop Christian Sharia from being imposed.

Adultery and coveting might be bad ideas, personally, but they have no business being made "law" either. Adultery could be a contractual violation- or it might not be. Depending on your specific contract, and whether the other party violated it first. Making it a universal "law" is silly.

Coveting is a purely mental condition and, as long as you didn't act on it and steal (which is covered later), can't hurt anyone but yourself. Self-damaging thoughts are not within anyone's authority to forbid. Only a tyrant would pretend to have the authority to tell you what you are allowed to think- and I don't see how this could ever be expected to be enforced.

Honoring your parents might generally be nice (but certainly not universally a good thing) but would make a lousy "law".

Only the commandments against murder, theft, and bearing false witness have any business being defended against (notice I don't say they should be made law, since all laws are either unnecessary or harmful- you don't need "laws" forbidding aggression or theft to be right to defend yourself from them). These are secular commandments that aren't unique to Judeo-Christian morality. Natural Law covers them quite nicely without the baggage.

So, how many "laws" in the US Police State are really based upon the Ten Commandments? A small minority of them. And many of the ones which are, shouldn't be "laws" at all.

How many exceptions to the principles of the three remaining secular commandments are granted to vicious monsters as long as they commit their violations under the veil of "government"? More than it is possible to count.

So, US "laws" are founded upon the Ten Commandments? Don't be ridiculous!